Royals Host Maine: Critical Division Positioning at Stake at Santander Arena
Reading, PA - The Reading Royals (22-20-4-5, 53 pts.), proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, are tied with the Maine Mariners (26-24-0-1, 53 pts.) for sixth in the North Division as the Royals host the Mariners for the third time Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The Royals are 3-2-0-0 against the Mariners and won, 3-1, in their last matchup on Jan. 30 at Santander Arena.
Reading is returning from a three-game road trip which saw it snatch three of six points. Following a 5-2 loss in Wheeling, the Royals travelled to Allen, TX for the first time in franchise history and earned at least a point in back-to-back games (3/4 pts.). Saturday, the Royals smacked the Americans, 5-3, and Reading won the season series against the Americans with a 4-0-1-0 record.
Maine is in the midst of a four-game winning streak, two short of a season high. Two of the wins have come in overtime and most recently, the Mariners swept a road weekend at Norfolk.
Following Wednesday's game, the Royals visit Manchester Fri., Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Adirondack Sat., Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Reading's next home game is Sun., Feb. 24 vs. Adirondack at 4:00 p.m., which features the undercard "Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup" at 12:30. One ticket earns fans access to both games to benefit the Battle of the Badges Scholarship Fund for Reading's fire and police departments and Allentown's fire and police departments.
Next Home Games
Wed., Feb. 20: Player Cards and Player Autograph session vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m.
Postgame player autograph session and player card giveaway, pres. by Rieck's Printing
Sun., Feb. 24 at 4:00 p.m.: Faith and Family Night + Battle of the Badges with a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck Giveaway vs. Adirondack
1) Pregame Battle of the Badges for the FirstStates Cup game (Allentown police and fire vs. Reading police and fire departments)
2) Royals will give away a Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Puck.
3) Faith & Family Night
Group tickets start at $11 for all Royals home games.
Listen to today's game at mixlr.com/readingroyals or watch on ECHL.tv. Coverage starts 15 minutes before puck drop.
Royals hold slight series edge
The Royals lead the season series 3-2-0-0 over Maine. Although the Mariners have won two of the last three meetings, Reading took the first two matches and the most recent game on Jan. 30.
Frank DiChiara and Adam Schmidt lead active Royals players in points against Maine with five each. Fourteen players have recorded goals against Maine this season, though no active Royals player has scored more than one. Michael Huntebrinker, currently with Lehigh Valley, scored two goals in three games against Maine.
Only four active Mariners have scored goals against the Royals this season. Terrence Wallin and John Furgele have scored twice, while Ryan Ferrill and Garrett Cecere have scored once. Wallin, Ferrill, and Jason Salvaggio top active Maine players with three points against the Royals.
This will be the final meeting between the two teams until March 29, when the Royals host the Mariners. A few days later, the Royals will travel to Cross Insurance Arena in the third-to-last game of the Royals' season on April 3.
Alex Roos and Brayden Low scored Sunday at Allen, giving the duo ten goals each this season. Eight Royals players have hit double-digit goals this season, with Josh MacDonald boasting the lead (19). Frank DiChiara, Adam Schmidt and Chris McCarthy each have 14 and are tied for second on the squad.
Roos' production has him at ten goals in a season for the first time since he was a freshman at Colorado College (2013-14). Low scored 18 goals last campaign. The Steveston, BC native also did it once and junior hockey (2014-15, Everett) when he played with Flyers goaltender Carter Hart in the WHL.
The eight players to reach the single-season milestone have put the Royals in position to mirror their ten-goal scorers from recent seasons. In Kirk MacDonald's first season at the helm, the Royals had ten players hit ten or more goals.
Alex Krushelnyski (currently in Lehigh Valley) has seven goals this season, with Nick Luukko (6), Jack Riley (6) and Steve Johnson (5) pushing towards ten in the final quarter of the season.
In 2016-17, ten Royals made it to double digits. In the Larry Courville era, Reading never had more than 11 players score ten or more goals in a season with the Royals.
Multiple Mariners enter Wednesday's contest riding hot streaks. Greg Chase has recorded 12 points in his last eight games, Brycen Martin has scored at least a point in his last four and Terrence Wallin has six points in his last four games.
The Mariners have played past regulation eight times this season, and their only loss came to the Royals in November (shootout). Maine holds the best winning percentage (.875) in the ECHL past regulation.
Sixty of the Mariners games are against the North Division this season and the club is 22-22-0-1 vs. the North, tied is for second with Adirondack for the most wins against division foes.
The Mariners have won four straight games for the third time this season. It is the Mariners' second-longest win-streak, behind their six-game win-streak from Dec. 14-29.
McCarthy, Johnson turn up the heat in February
Chris McCarthy continues to pace the Royals on the score sheet, as he's scored 10 points in 10 February games. He has generated 54 points, five off a single-season high he established last campaign.
Steve Johnson remains hot this month, with seven points in his last nine games. He's recorded points in his past three of four games, raising his point total to 17 in 34 ECHL games this campaign.
About the Royals
The Royals are in their 18th ECHL season and proudly affiliated with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.
Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play.
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